It might be seen by some cynics as justifying low wages in South Dakota, but the Governor's Office of Economic Development says its 2012 Wage Study shows "the purchasing power of many occupations puts South Dakota on a par with the rest of the country."

GOED Commissioner Pat Costello says the state ranks "pretty well" when it comes to purchasing power, which he says means what can be bought after takes are taken out and local cost of living is factored in. He says overall, the state ranks 17th.

Costello says South Dakota's low ranking in gross pay doesn't paint an accurate picture of how far money goes here.

The GOED says the date is available at

Costello says the information will be useful for employers, the public and economic development officials "as we work to break down the 'low wage' misconception in South Dakota."